Cover image for James "Philosopher" Smith and Family
James "Philosopher" Smith and Family
Agency Number:
Start Date:
01 Jul 1827
End Date:
15 Jun 1897
James "Philosopher" Smith was born in George Town 1/7/1827 to John Smith and Ann Grant. In 1836, after the death of his father and remarriage of his mother, John Guillian, ship owner and flour-miller became James's guardian. Smith managed a flour mill before heading to the Victorian Goldfields in the 1850s. Returning to Tasmania, Smith farmed and explored the Forth area. He discovered tin at Mt Bischoff in October 1871, establishing a mine. In 1873 the mine was taken over by the Mt Bischoff Tin Mine.
Mary Jane Love, aged 32, married James in Launceston on 16/9/1874. Mary was a widow, having previously been married to a Mr Pleas. James and Mary Jane had six children - Leslie John (b.8/9/1875), Annie Bertha (b.22/2/1877), Eva Laura Mary (b.23/9/1987), Gertrude Elizabeth Marion (b. 2/8/1880), Ronald Edgar Smith (b. 25/07/1881), and Garnet Heber (b.25/9/1884).
The Mt Bischoff Tin Mine commenced paying dividends in 1878, however by this time Smith had sold most of his interests. Instead Smith continued to farm and explore in the Forth area. Smith was elected to the Legislative Council in 1886 but resigned owing to ill health in 1888. He died 15/06/1897 at the age of 69. There is no record of why James was known as 'Philosopher'.
Information Sources:
Ronald E. Smith, 'Smith, James (Philosopher) (1827-1897), Australian Dictionary of Biography; RGD records, Tasmanian Archives.
Gustav Weindorfer (NG528)23 Feb 187405 May 1932

Major Ronald Edgar Smith (NG3697)25 Jul 188130 May 1969

Frederick Smithies (NG573)16 Aug 188513 Oct 1979

Weindorfer Memorial Service Committee (NG2325)01 Jan 1938
Series Created By Agency:
NS234/3 Letters received by James Smith03 Jun 184711 Oct 1898

NS234/4 Accounts and Receipts received by James Smith27 Dec 184911 Oct 1898

NS234/5 Letters received by Mary Jane Smith23 May 186729 May 1912

NS234/26 Miscellaneous Smith Family Papers01 Jan 186931 Dec 1937

NS234/2 Letter Press Copies of Letters sent by James Smith01 Apr 187418 Feb 1896

NS234/1 Diaries of James Smith02 Jan 187804 Jan 1898

NS234/25 Miscellaneous Papers of Ronald Smith06 May 187831 Dec 1968

NS234/12 Letters received by Gustav Weindorfer24 Jun 187927 Aug 1904

NS234/14 Notes Compiled by James Smith01 Jan 188031 Dec 1895

NS234/6 Copies of Letters sent and Letters received and Accounts and Receipts received by Mary Jane Smith01 Nov 189331 Jan 1907

NS234/7 Mary Jane Smith Accounts.25 Nov 189328 May 1906

NS234/17 Letters sent and received by Ronald Edgar Smith28 Mar 189430 May 1969

NS234/22 Correspondence to Selina Kathleen Smith Nee Carruthers, Mainly from her Husband Ronald Smith16 Aug 189727 Mar 1917

NS234/10 Accounts received by Ronald Edgar Smith22 Apr 189809 May 1966

NS234/8 Mary Jane Smith and Ronald Edgar Smith Accounts.01 Oct 189812 Jul 1918

NS234/9 Copies of Letters sent by Ronald Edgar Smith.21 Jan 190026 Feb 1907

NS234/28 Copies of Weindorfer Diaries by Ronald Smith and Records of Flora and Fauna in Victoria and Tasmania by Weindorfer01 Jan 190107 May 1928

NS234/15 Diary of Mary Jane Smith24 May 190228 Apr 1903

NS234/16 Diaries of Ronald Edgar Smith28 Apr 190330 May 1969

NS234/27 Diaries of Gustav Weindorfer31 Jan 190614 Apr 1923

NS234/19 Letters sent and received by Ronald Smith and Other Papers relating to Cradle Mountain01 Oct 190930 May 1969

LMSS150 Cradle Mountain Letters and Papers09 Oct 190924 Dec 1946

NS234/20 Accounts and Receipts relating to Land Tax and Rates for Ronald Smith01 Jan 191031 Dec 1945

NS234/23 Correspondence to Ronald Smith from his Wife, Selina Kathleen Smith Nee Carruthers.10 Jan 191119 Apr 1917

NS234/24 Letters sent by Kathleen Selina Smith Nee Carruthers20 Dec 191501 Jun 1917

NS234/13 Farm Diary01 Mar 191830 Mar 1918

NS1743 Ronald Edgar Smith's Copy of the Film Cradle Mountain in Winter Produced by H J King.01 Jan 193031 Dec 1930

NS234/18 Correspondence and Newspaper Extracts31 Jul 194614 Aug 1953

LMSS488 Early Life of James Smith and Discovery of Tin at Mount Bischoff01 Jul 1947

NS234/11 Copies of Letters sent and received by Ronald Edgar Smith02 Jul 195207 Sep 1955

NS234/21 Christmas Cards and Other Greetings received by Ronald Smith17 Dec 195731 Dec 1967